Monday, August 12, 2013

A Point for Clean Energy?

Copenhagen is opening a man-made ski resort and slope that will be powered by the city's garbage. Why is this important? It cuts down on the usage of fossil energy and its waste. This is great for this city because it’s another step towards their goal of becoming carbon-neutral by the year 2025.


But what does this have to do with the fight against energy poverty? Fossil energy emissions are a culprit of the recent temperature change that we have seen. The temperature change causes a shift in the normal weather patterns and has been linked to some of the worst natural disasters in recent years. By using trash as a means of creating electricity and heat, instead of the means that typically use the fossil fuels, the energy is cleaner.

Not everybody agrees that this should be a means to celebrate. Many environmentalists feel that this would encourage people to throw things away, instead of using the methods of reducing, reusing and recycling. There is also the fact that despite this ski slope and lodging using trash to power it, there is still an emission of carbon-dioxide and this will increase by about 43%.

Is the fact that this trash-burning slope is a potential step in the right direction of carbon-neutral goals even significant? Fossil fuels are a culprit of the changing temperature and weather patterns around the globe, which is difficult for people without the proper modern energy to combat against, yes. And burning this trash instead of letting it sit in landfills is a nice initial thought. However, the cost to build such a facility could be brought to the forefront. Is the millions of dollars required to build the slope money well spent? Or could these funds be spent towards finding a means of giving those who’re experiencing energy poverty in these harsh climates a better choice?

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